Tag Archives: ability

Your Second Thought

I’ll gladly be second…but to only One.  Him.

Let Him invade your thoughts first. Let Him make your heart beat faster.  Let Him be the reason for the smile on your face and the joy that makes you soar.  Then me.

I don’t want to be your first thought; I want Him to be.  I don’t want your first minute; I want your minutes and attention after you’ve spent time with Number One.

I don’t want first place.  That spot is reserved for the One who loves you more…and more perfectly…than I ever could. I’ll gladly be second.  In everything, especially your heart.

Making Him Number One will allow you to be what we need you to be; He can make you a better man, I can’t.  He can heal your broken places, calm your doubts, fears and misconceptions.  I can’t.

Please.  Let me be your second thought.

“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strike after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right – the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” Matthew 6:33 AMP

All The Way Home

As is so often the case, Sampson wanted to carry something with him when we walk this morning.  Today it was his new bear.  Predictably the first time he stopped for a “tinkle break”, he dropped the bear and left him laying there.  Mind you, he wouldn’t leave the house without it, had to have it go with him, and at the first scent of something else, the bear was forgotten.  Many times I have had to retrace our steps to find what he has discarded along the way.

He started out all about that bear, so excited to take it with him. I would take it away and he would go back to get it.  I knew I would end up carrying it and sure enough, that’s what happened.  2015-10-31 08.26.25

We start out motivated and excited about something new and before long, it’s tossed to the side for one reason or another – it wasn’t what we thought it would be, not as much fun as we thought it should be, or we just lose interest.  What seemed so important sometimes soon becomes a memory.

Sometimes our walk with God is the same way.  We start out so strong and so passionate to live our lives for Him.  We know He’s allowed things in our lives so that we can tell others what He has done for us and we’re quick to do that at first, but when things get hard and life gets mundane, we sometimes lose that passion.  When we’re hurt, disappointed, disheartened or devastated it isn’t so easy to praise and testify is it?  When life throws us a curve and we’re in the thick of trying to survive we may be tempted to “lay down” our witness and forget to pick it back up again.  We also know there are things we have been gifted to do but we sometimes get busy and become distracted and those things get pushed to the background.

I look back at recent events in my own life and sometimes I don’t see any semblance of me at all.  Where’s my praise and adoration?  Where are those stories I’m supposed to be writing?  Where’s my passion?  Sometimes, we just feel whipped and discouraged.

When I picked up the bear this morning, my Spirit in me said, “You have to carry it all the way home; you must finish strong.”

We all have dropped a few “bears” along the way.  We’ve lost some because we were just too tired and weary to pick them up again or we simply didn’t go looking for what we had dropped.  We knew they were out there somewhere but for whatever reason we didn’t even look for them.  Life has a way of sucking life out of us.

Whatever God has given us to do, let’s keep doing it until we’re “home”.  Let’s keep loving people and showing His love to people (the number one thing).  Let’s decide to do good when things are going bad. Let’s decide to believe God regardless of what we see and hear.  Let’s smile through the tears and make it about someone else and making them feel better.  Let’s keep walking and carry on, all the way home.  Let’s bless regardless of what we are feeling or thinking.  If you’re gifted to sing then sing; laugh then laugh; preach then preach; write then write; teach then teach…you get the picture.

Whatever God has given you, if you have laid it down (for whatever reason) go pick it up and carry it all the way home.

Galatians 6:9

Present Tense Jesus

So many of us are going through things we thought we would never face. I have faced things this past year that I never even thought about. I desperately seek God every single day (with the same passion and desperation, I might add, that I do when I have lost my keys or phone!) and a Word from Him that will help me get through the day.

I continue to be amazed when I read the Bible and how relevant it is to right now. Only a God-inspired book written thousands of years ago by so many different people mesh so beautifully and bring itself forward into right now. I have to laugh at that analogy and think of course it does…it’s GOD!!! “In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). As the rest of the Bible, that’s a LITERAL Word.

The Lord is present tense – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). He is right here, right now. Who is He? He embodies everything we need, His character IS strength, comfort, love, power, faith, goodness, joy…the list goes on and on. The things that make Him who He is are inside of us by the presence (present tense) of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power source that makes it possible to live through ‘the valley of the shadow of death’.

When you suffer remember He is PRESENT – and He is as prevalent in your circumstance as you allow Him to be. I would encourage us to “pull Him in”; invite Him into the whole thing. When we do, we can become closer to Him and forge an even stronger relationship with Him. Romans 8:37, “But in all these things we OVERWHELMINGLY CONQUER through Him who loved us.”  IN it all, through it all, we overwhelmingly (more than enough, mostly more than enough) conquer! That’s a word to my soul today. See, the demonstrative love of God has already happened…and continues right now. He already gave Jesus to die for us so that we can live in His presence, with His strength, comfort, joy, longsuffering, through His provision today because His Holy Spirit resides in us. He is truly the Power Source!

Right now, no matter what, no matter how you feel, believe that. Keep your chin up, keep believing no matter what, that the Lord is with you and in Him, you have everything you need to get through this!

Why Do We Walk the Dog?

Every morning, no matter what my schedule is, I walk our Sampson.  He loves our routine. He gets a toy (usually his favorite, “bear-bear”) and off we go. Some of my days are chocked full of things I have to do and on this particular day, I was in a tiz. So little time, so many things to take care of. I started not to walk him then I looked out on the porch and there he was, tail wagging, bear-bear in mouth, staring at the door, waiting. How could I not? We started down the sidewalk and I found myself robbing him of the enjoyment of stopping and sniffing and exploring. “Hurry.” “Come on.” I thought to myself “I’ve done my part. I walked him but it can’t be like it usually is. We have to hurry. Too much to do…”

I stopped dead in my tracks and remembered what I had forgotten when we started. This walk is about HIM – not me. I do this FOR him. Not me. If he can’t enjoy it, there’s really no point in walking! I was on the verge of stealing his pleasure and making it all about me!

Sometimes we decide to do something and mean well but the joy and pleasure is taken making it about us. We don’t mean to, but circumstances get in the way and we resort to making it about us, our load and our mission. It’s good to be responsible for your stuff but when your responsibilities override the heart of the matter, there’s a problem.

With all we all have on us these days, protect your peace. Cover your own heart in prayer. Keep your motives righteous. The Lord (if you have a relationship with Him) will help you with that – actually HE gives the ability to discern why you do what you do. He only sees the motive behind the action, no matter what it looks like. Others see the action, He sees the only thing that matters to Him – the core of why we do what we do.

Now that I have two jobs, a house to take care of and all that goes with that, I have to remember why I walk Sampson. I walk him because I want what’s best for him. I want him to enjoy that special time he looks so forward to. I walk him, for him! Take a minute and remember why you do what you do.

Let’s go for a walk!

Convinced because I’m Compelled.

I’m compelled to eat peanut butter because I’m convinced it’s good. I sleep because I’ve been convinced it’s necessary to rest. I’m compelled not to walk down the middle of a busy street in the dark with dark clothes on because I’m convinced I wouldn’t live through it!

Why do you do what you do? Out of necessity, because it’s what’s expected? Some things are unavoidable – we have to do them to live. What about the things we do out of choice, why do those? Something had to convince us to do them. We try new things and decide we’re going to do them because we enjoy them, because they’re right…then others are a one time deal.

Taking inventory is sometimes a painful thing. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place we never intended to be because of things we never intended to do. Look back at your life. Has it turned out to be what you thought it would? When traced back to the beginning the why can be a surprise.

I started writing when I was 12 to deal with my pain and found it was therapeutic. It served the purpose of getting the poison out so it wouldn’t fester and poison me. What I write today in no way resembles what I wrote then. The reason I write has changed. Back then, I didn’t want anyone to see it because it was ugly and personal. Now I write with specific intent to share. I WANT others to read because I want others to see what I’ve learned. I want to bless others with God stories and lessons. It’s not about me anymore.

I’ve published three books that few have bought. Should I stop writing and blogging? Maybe…but I can’t because I’m compelled to write. I have to write whether anyone takes the time to read or not! I’d love to make a living at this but I don’t see that happening. I am convinced I have some good stuff to say because God compels me to write and share with you.

I’m convinced God has given me the gift of simplicity in conveying Him in everything. I’m not a scholar or expert in God or in life and certainly don’t think I’m best-seller worthy author. I DO think He has taught me life lessons in the simplest ways and I think that’s priceless. I’m convinced we ALL need God to live everyday life because He simply makes everyday life better. So I’m compelled to write what He shows me and share it with anyone who will read.

I thought about stopping. I thought about how hard it is for me to make arrangements to travel to speak and sell books- the packing and planning, the driving, the money it takes, the arrangements for the critters, my son, etc…do I really want to put myself through that? WHY do I put myself through it? Wouldn’t life be simpler just to quit? I’m often asked how much money I make (that seems to be the number one question) and what I get out of doing all that. You’d laugh if I told you the money part – it’s the other question that keeps me going: what I get out of it; that’s the part I love.

I see women lift up their heads thanking me for coming because my telling what God’s done in our lives encouraged them, changed them, gave them courage to believe their lives would get better. I’ve found myself to be lifted and encouraged when someone else is blessed. For me, that’s where it’s at. I’m compelled to keep on keeping on because I’m convinced I have keep writing, keep talking and keep believing God is good and it’s not about me.

It’s okay to inventory life and get rid of what’s not working or unhealthy. It’s okay to listen to others advise what they think is best but be honest with you when considering what you’re doing. Are you convinced you’re doing it right for you? Do you have to do what you’re doing? Is it such a part of who you are that you’d be a “lesser” you if you didn’t do it? Is God in that part of you, does it make you feel closer to Him or father away? In addition to the basic “is this good or bad” those are the inventory questions I ask myself.

I guess the bottom line is being convinced, right? If you’re convinced you’re compelled. Even when it’s hard and there are costs and sacrifices associated you HAVE to do it. That’s the way I feel about writing, about speaking…and about peanut butter.  😉

The Occupation of Preoccupation

I’m having one of those days. I received my usual unconventional wake-up call (Baxter the cat scratching on my head to wake me up earlier than I intended) and rolled out and got my day started. With my first cup of coffee, I thought of everything that needs to be done today and that’s when the problem started. I was tired already. About 30 minutes into my stupor – the state of mind I find myself in when I try developing a plan and realize it will never work…that stuck place…then it hit me. I’ve started wrongly. The cat…the day’s stuff…the overwhelming feeling of knowing I can’t do this by myself. I was totally occupied by being preoccupied. I have so much to do today I don’t know where to start. So, I just sit there, thinking about it. Stuck. Preoccupied with what is to occupy this day.

I was reminded, once again, that none of this is doable (for me) without God’s strength, His grace and mercy. He provides what I need to get through the day. When left to myself to take care of it, none of it gets done. No wonder people (including me) at times) are in a turbulent desperate state when time with Him isn’t included…when we don’t turn to Him for help. Can you relate?

Life sometimes devours our joy if we let it. When I realized what was going on and where I went wrong, a decision had to be made. Do I continue on in this state of mind or, regardless of the load of responsibility, do I stop and go to Him?  You’d think after all these years and having been in this same preoccupied/over-occupied spot I would learn.

That’s the point of this blog this morning…realizing that my strength…even my want to, to be strong is in Him. He’s my source; my resource! All these diversions, I believe are designed to make me not give Him a thought, much less clear my mind and spend time with Him. I see clearly that even my will to fight the urge to give up today is totally in and on Him.

I think a do-over is in order. I think I’ll push the restart button and cast – chunk – purposefully THROW all my cares to Him because He cares. I’ll sit with Him and get into His word. I’ll look up all the verses about anxiety and see what He says. I can’t do today any other way. I think I’ll occupy myself with the One who knows me best and loves me most. I hope you will too!